Born from collaborative efforts between Google and Twitter, the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project is an open-source initiative that came together with an ultimate goal of improving content delivery across the web. Slow-loading web pages reduce conversion rates and harm a website’s accessibility. The aim of AMP is to create faster, better optimized mobile web pages. So, what is AMP and what should you know about it? Read on to learn more about what accelerated mobile pages are, how they work, and what they mean for search rankings.
What Is AMP? How Does It Work?
In a nutshell, AMP strips down mobile development to the very basics. The AMP project is an open-source library with the tools that developers need to create lightweight, fast-loading web content. AMP utilizes existing web technologies and frameworks to create web pages that are fast-loading and streamlined across multiple platforms and browsers. AMP achieves this through the use of three core components: AMP HTML, the AMP JS library, and AMP Cache.
Basically, AMP HTML is just standard HTML with a few restrictions that have been put in place for more reliable performance. AMP HTML extends upon standard HTML with the addition of a few custom AMP-specific tags, called AMP HTML components, that are meant to make it easier to implement common coding patterns in a cleaner, better performing manner.
The Google AMP Cache is an optional content delivery network that will automatically fetch, cache, and conduct performance enhancements on all validated AMP documents. Google products, like Google Search, and other networks utilizing the technology serve these stored AMP pages and their resources directly from the Google cache to provide a faster mobile user experience.
What are the Benefits of Utilizing AMP? Does It Impact Search Rankings?
Increased speed and greater visibility are the biggest benefits of implementing AMP. The average internet user has an attention span less than that of a goldfish. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and keep them hooked. Every second spent loading a page chips away at that small window of retention. Faster loading pages ultimately mean higher page views, lower bounce rates (Maybe?!), and greater user engagement.
While AMP is not specifically a ranking factor, it’s well-known that websites with lower bounce rates and longer onsite times reflect their user engagement in search rankings. Google also has begun to display AMP-specific listings in organic search results. The increased visibility, whether through higher rankings or special placements, equates to more views of your content.
Areas in the world that have slow internet can benefit greatly from AMP and companies who are only about getting page views can benefit. Converting those visitors into customers on an AMP driven page though is another story altogether (See below).
AMP (A Couple Years Later)
The effects AMP has had on bigger business and media companies who implemented the technology has been less than stellar. Most of them have reverted back to not using AMP as, although they may see slightly more page views, conversion rates and bounce rates have gotten much worse. Why is that? AMP strips away images, navigation and anything extra on your page basically leaving nothing more than a wall of text with no chance to turn a visitor into a customer.
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Overall, implementing AMP is an easy and effective way to improve the user’s experience, increase conversion rates, and see a boost in your search visibility and should be considered an essential part of your content marketing strategy. I would say it’s only worth doing if amassing page views is important. I no longer feel it’s worth doing if you are interested in conversions at all. Questions? Ask away!